Sergeant Stubby

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Sergeant Stubby
Sergeant Stubby.jpg
Sergeant Stubby
Born 1916 or 1917.
Died April 4, 1926 (aged 9–10)
Place of display Smithsonian - "The Price of Freedom" exhibition
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Unit 102nd Infantry, 26th (Yankee) Division
Battles/wars World War I
Awards Humane Education Society Gold Medal Medal of Honor
Wound stripe
Other work Hoyas' mascot

Sergeant Stubby (1916 or 1917 – April 4, 1926), has been called the most decorated war dog of World War I and the only dog to be nominated for rank and then promoted to sergeant through combat,[1] a claim for which there is no documentary evidence, but was recognized in connection with an exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution.[1][2][3] He was the official mascot of the 102nd Infantry, assigned to the 26th (Yankee) Division. Stubby served for 18 months and participated in seventeen battles on the Western Front. He saved his regiment from surprise mustard gas attacks, found and comforted the wounded, and once caught a German soldier by the seat of his pants, holding him there until American soldiers found him. Back home his exploits were front page news of every major newspaper.[2][3][4]

Early life[edit]

Stubby, according to contemporaneous news items,[4][5] was a Boston bull terrier.[3][6][7]

Military service[edit]

Sergeant Stubby wearing his coat and medals

Stubby served with the 102nd Infantry Regiment in the trenches in France for 18 months and participated in four offensives and 17 battles. He entered combat on February 5, 1918 at Chemin des Dames, north of Soissons, and was under constant fire, day and night for over a month. In April 1918, during a raid to take Schieprey, Stubby was wounded in the foreleg by the retreating Germans throwing hand grenades. He was sent to the rear for convalescence, and as he had done on the front was able to improve morale. When he recovered from his wounds, Stubby returned to the trenches. He ultimately had two wound stripes.[3][8]

After being gassed, Stubby learned to warn his unit of poison gas attacks, located wounded soldiers in no man's land, and — since he could hear the whine of incoming artillery shells before humans could — became very adept at letting his unit know when to duck for cover. He was solely responsible for capturing a reconnoitering German soldier in the Argonne. Commenting on this, Ann Bausum wrote "Details aside, the accomplishment earned the mascot more than praise and admiration. Some say it won the dog official rank in the U.S. military—hence his eventual nickname. Sergeant Stubby. However, there is no supporting documentation for such a claim, and his designation as a sergeant appears to be more a recent folk legend than an established fact from his lifetime."[9] Following the retaking of Château-Thierry by the US, the women of the town made Stubby a chamois coat on which were pinned his many medals. He also helped free a French town from the Germans. He was later injured in the chest and leg by a grenade. At the end of the war, Robert Conroy smuggled Stubby home.[1]

After the war[edit]

Sergeant Stubby's brick at the World War I Memorial

After returning home, Stubby became a celebrity and marched in, and normally led many parades across the country. He met Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, and Warren G. Harding. Starting in 1921, he attended Georgetown University Law Center with Conroy, and became the Georgetown Hoyas' team mascot.[10] He would be given the football at halftime and would nudge the ball around the field to the amusement of the fans.[11][12]

General John J. Pershing presented a gold medal from the Humane Education Society to Stubby in 1921, which was the subject of a famous photograph.[3][4][8][10]

After his death, he was preserved with his skin mounted on a plaster cast. Conroy presented Stubby to the Smithsonian in 1956.

Medals and awards[edit]

He was the subject of a portrait by "Capitol artist" Charles Ayer Whipple.[4]

Stubby was featured in the Brave Beasts exhibit at the Legermuseum in Delft, The Netherlands July 18, 2008 - April 13, 2009.[13]

According to Snopes.com: "Stubby was honored with a brick in the Walk of Honor at the United States World War I monument, Liberty Memorial, in Kansas City at a ceremony held on Armistice Day, November 11, 2006."[14]

Stubby was the subject of at least four books.[9][15][16][17]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c ""The Price of Freedom" exhibition". Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Stubby, World War I Canine Hero 1921". History wired. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Kane, Gillian; Larson-Walker, Lisa, Illustrator (May 7, 2014). "Sergeant Stubby: America’s original dog of war fought bravely on the Western Front—then helped the nation forget the Great War’s terrible human toll". Slate.com. Retrieved July 13, 2014.  Reprinted in Kane, Gillian (May 24, 2014). "The story of Sergeant Stubby, WWI's most decorated dog". Stars & Stripes. Retrieved July 17, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Stubby's Obituary: Stubby of A.E.F. Enters Valhalla". The New York Times (Connecticut Military History). April 4, 1926/July 16, 2003. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Evening Public Ledger. (Philadelphia [Pa.]) 1914-1942, July 09, 1921, NIGHT EXTRA, Image 18". Evening Public Ledger. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Library of Congress. 1921-07-09. Retrieved 2013-12-06. 
  6. ^ "Chris Donovan and His Pets" (PDF). Los Angeles Herald. January 2, 1910. p. 5. Retrieved July 17, 2014. 
  7. ^ Wightman, Richard; Gould, Raul, Illustrator. "Boone's Barnyard circus". The Monthly Magazine Section. p. 14. Retrieved July 17, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "Dog Hero Again Honored". Roundup Record-Tribune & Winnett Times. October 28, 1921. p. 10. 
  9. ^ a b Bausum, Ann; Sharpe, David E., Foreword (2014). Sergeant Stubby: How a Stray Dog and His Best Friend Helped Win World War I and Stole the Heart of a Nation (Print). Washington, D.C: National Geographic. p. 112. ISBN 978-1426213106. 
  10. ^ a b Martin, Major General Thaddeus (April 12, 2011). "Stubby the Military Dog". Connecticut Military department. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  11. ^ "A Connecticut Hero: Sgt. Stubby". Retrieved July 15, 20124. 
  12. ^ *Richmond, Derek (November 4, 2003). "From Mascot to Military, Stubby Left Pawprints on Hilltop and Beyond". The Hoya (Georgetown, Washington, D.C: Georgetown University). [dead link]
  13. ^ "Brave Beasts". Legermuseum. July 18, 2008. Retrieved December 21, 2009. 
  14. ^ "Stubby". Snopes.com. November 11, 2006. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  15. ^ Bausum, Ann (May 13, 2014). Stubby the War Dog: The True Story of World War I's Bravest Dog (Hardcover/audio) (in English). Washington D.C.: National Geographic Children's Books. p. 80. ISBN 1426314868. ISBN 978-1426314865. 
  16. ^ Glendinning, Richard; Glendinning, Sally; Amundsen, Richard (October 1978). "Stubby, Brave Soldier Dog". Famous Animal Stories (Hardcover) (in English) (Champaign, Illinois: Garrard Pub. Co./Olympic Marketing Corp). p. 48. ISBN 0811648648. ISBN 978-0811648646. 
  17. ^ George, Isabel (March 8, 2012). The Most Decorated Dog In History: Sergeant Stubby (Print) (in English) (Kindle Edition ed.). Harper Collins. p. 304. ASIN B00739VSKW. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Bausum, Ann; Sharpe, David E., Foreword (2014). Sergeant Stubby: How a Stray Dog and His Best Friend Helped Win World War I and Stole the Heart of a Nation (Print). Washington, D.C: National Geographic. p. 112. ISBN 978-1426213106. 
  • Bausum, Ann (May 13, 2014). Stubby the War Dog: The True Story of World War I's Bravest Dog (Hardcover/audio) (in English). Washington D.C.: National Geographic Children's Books. p. 80. ISBN 1426314868. ISBN 978-1426314865. 
  • Garden, Joe; Pauls, Chris; Ginsburg, Janet (October 9, 2007). The Dangerous Book for Dogs: A Parody by Rex and Sparky (hardcover) (in English) (1st ed.). Villard. p. 208. ISBN 0345503708. ISBN 978-034550370. 
  • George, Isabel (March 8, 2012). The Most Decorated Dog In History: Sergeant Stubby (Print) (in English) (Kindle ed.). Harper Collins. p. 304. ASIN B00739VSKW. 
  • Glendinning, Richard; Glendinning, Sally; Amundsen, Richard (October 1978). "Stubby, Brave Soldier Dog". Famous Animal Stories (Hardcover) (in English) (Champaign, Illinois: Garrard Pub. Co./Olympic Marketing Corp). p. 48. ISBN 0811648648. ISBN 978-0811648646. 
  • Goodavage, Maria. Soldier Dogs (Hardcover) (in English) (1 ed.). New York: Dutton Adult. p. 293. ASIN B00B9ZE3LM. ISBN 0525952780. 
  • Stone, Barry (March 1, 2012). The Diggers' Menagerie: Mates, Mascots and Marvels - True Stories of Animals Who Went to War (in English). Australia: HarperCollins/ABC Books. p. 215. ASIN B0062GO7FK. }

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